Party Perfect – Tips for Special Appetizers!
For some people, serving a bag of chips and salsa out of a jar is enough to make a gathering a party. I agree that when surrounded by people who love to be together, that might be all that is required. However, there are times when a little extra pizzazz and dazzle make occasions memorable. Even just one out-of-the-ordinary appetizer makes an event seem more special. Here are a few simple ideas to add a bit of magic to your appetizers and make a party perfect.
Tip #1 – Consider Putting Delicious Little Bites in Glassware
Shot, mini martini, or juice glasses make fun containers for appetizers that can be eaten while standing up. They are novel to look at, and easy to find at discount stores or even Goodwill. Store bought ranch dressing, bottled cocktail sauce, frozen meatballs, and readymade sauce could be used, but here is a favorite all-purpose dip of mine. It looks great next to red sauce.
Veggie Dip or White Sauce for Shrimp Cocktail
Mix ingredients together and then carefully spoon in bottom of glasses or dispense with squeeze container:
1/2 seeded cucumber very finely diced
1 tablespoon onion very finely diced
1/4 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons white vinegar
1/2 teaspoon dried dill
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1/2 cup sour cream
Tip #2 – Raid the Premade Dough Section in the Grocery
Frozen puff pastry sheets, ready-made piecrusts, and frozen brown & serve rolls are wonderful foundations for appetizers since they can be assembled and then frozen until you pop them in the oven at 400 degrees until brown. For puff pastry mini tarts, slice each sheet along the three fold marks and then cut each third into five pieces. Then top with goat cheese, sliced cherry tomatoes, or asparagus tips, and drizzle with olive oil. The rolls can be filled, heated, and served as sliders. Below is a recipe that turns premade pie crusts into something bite sized and yummy.
Individual Italian Pies
2 ready-made piecrusts
1 cup shredded pepper jack cheese
½ cup store bought pesto (plus 1 tablespoon for top of pies)
2 tablespoons pine nuts
Using a small juice glass as a “cookie cutter” cut out small circles from the piecrusts. Spread the pesto on half of the pieces; distribute the cheese on each one, then top with the other half of the piecrust rounds. Brush the top of each individual pie with the remaining 1 tablespoon of pesto and top with a few pine nuts. This can now either be frozen until party time or bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes or until the top is golden brown. This is best served warm.
Tip #3 – Use Natural “Bowls” for Sauces and Spreads.
Vegetables such as peppers in all colors, red and green cabbages, and even cucumbers can be used as clever dip containers. Slice off the tops, hollow out the insides, and spoon in the sauce.
Honey Mustard Dipping Sauce
3 tablespoons country style Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
2 tablespoons honey
This goes very well with:
Baked Ham Sliders
1 dozen bake & serve yeast rolls
1 tablespoon country style Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons chopped green onion
¼ cup butter, softened
12 slices deli ham
With a serrated knife, split each roll in half so there is a top and bottom. Brush the mustard over the top of each roll. Mix the green onion and butter together and lightly spread the mixture on the inside top and bottom of each roll. Fold the ham slices so they will fit and place each one between the top and bottom slices of each roll. Place on cookie sheets and bake at oven temperature indicated on the roll package for at least 10 minutes or until the rolls are brown. (These sliders can be assembled and frozen until ready to be baked in preheated oven.)
About Julie Yates
Julie Yates is a former teacher and current food blogger, Yates Yummies. She enjoys sharing quick, easy, and healthy recipes with people who love to cook. Visit her blog at www.yatesyummies.blogspot.com.